- Hardy-Weinberg law
- Basic concept in population genetics discovered independently in 1908 by the great English mathematician G(odfrey) H(arold) Hardy and Wilhelm Weinberg, a physician in Germany. The Hardy- Weinberg law is a cornerstone of clinical genetics. (In technical terms, the Hardy-Weinberg law relates the gene frequency to the genotype frequency and so can be utilized, for example, to determine allele frequency and heterozygote frequency when the incidence of a genetic disorder is known).
* * *Har·dy-Wein·berg law .härd-ē-'wīn-.bərg- n a fundamental principle of population genetics that is approximately true for small populations and holds with increasing exactness for larger and larger populations: population gene frequencies and population genotype frequencies remain constant from generation to generation if mating is random and if mutation, selection, immigration, and emigration do not occur called also Hardy-Weinberg principleHardy Godfrey Harold (1877-1947)British mathematician. In his time Hardy was probably the leading pure mathematician in Great Britain. In 1908 he published a paper formulating the law of population genetics that the frequencies of both the different kinds of genes and of the different kinds of genotypes which they produce tend to remain constant over generations in large populations under general conditions.Wein·berg 'vīn-berk Wilhelm (1862-1937)German physician and geneticist. Weinberg made important contributions in medicine and human genetics to the study of multiple births, population genetics, and medical statistics. He ranks as one of the founders of population genetics. Independently of Hardy and at about the same time, he discovered the law of population genetics that is now called the Hardy-Weinberg law after both of them. In his studies of population genetics, Weinberg took into account both genetic and environmental factors. He was the first geneticist to partition the total variance of phenotypes into genetic and environmental portions.
* * *the proportions of the three genotypes determined by two alleles (A and a) occurring with a frequency of p and q, respectively, in a randomly mating population will remain constant from one generation to the next: AA = p2, Aa = 2pq, aa = q2. Factors such as mutation, selection, nonrandom mating, migration, and genetic drift can disturb this equilibrium. Called also Hardy-Weinberg principle or rule.
Medical dictionary. 2011.